Feeds

'Skype clone' surfaces in China

Stealth firm plays reversi with VoIP code

Boost IT visibility and business value

Chinese software developers have reportedly reverse engineered Skype's internet telephony software to develop a clone. The unnamed company has developed a software client using the same protocol and encryption technology used by Skype. This software, which is still in the early stages of development, was used to call Charlie Paglee, co-founder of Voice over IP startup Vozin Communications.

Although the software lacks features that indicate whether someone is online or instant messaging technology, Paglee reports that the mystery firm involved plans to add these features (along with stability improvements) and release a stable version of the software by August. The development paves the way for the possible creation of third party Skype clients.

In April, VoIP firm Skype admitted that its Chinese partner (Tom Online) filters instant messages sent using its software to comply with local censorship laws. The Chinese authorities might take a dim view of a locally produced client that omits these features, regardless of the ethical arguments over the production of a "knock-off" clone. On the other hand, as Paglee notes, Chinese telcos might welcome the possibility of licensing locally produced VoIP technology that allows them to claw back revenue lost on international calls to Skype's officially sanctioned version of its software.

In a statement, Skype played down the possibility that the development of third party Skype clients might affect its business. "Skype is aware of the claim made by a small group of Chinese engineers that they have reverse engineered Skype software. We have no evidence to suggest that this is true. Even if it was possible to do this, the software code would lack the feature set and reliability of Skype which is enjoyed by over 100 million users today. Moreover, no amount of reverse engineering would threaten Skype’s cryptographic security or integrity," it said. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.